I know I've been MIA lately. Most of my free time in the last month has been consumed by dealing with the theft of my identity. Blaaaaaa. I never knew that it could be so time-consuming, serious, stress-inducing, and laborious. Sheesh! I have spent hours upon hours on the phone with numerous government agencies, researching, downloading forms, filling out affidavits, writing letters to government agencies, removing my name and information from mailing lists and such, standing in line at the post office for certified mail, photocopying, documenting my conversations and actions, visiting the police department and talking with detectives, checking my credit, setting up fraud alerts on everything,........I could keep going, but it would bore you to death. When I wasn't doing these things, I was obsessing over what I needed to do be doing to protect my personal information. My mind and emotions were being high-jacked twenty-four/seven. Needless to say, trying to protect and hang on to my identity has been consuming.
Spending so much time with this got me to thinking about identity on a deeper spiritual and theological level. Here I am desperately trying to salvage my identity, who I am--at least who I am according to various government agencies, the DMV, the post office, the credit bureaus, the banks, and the authorities. But, that's just who I am on paper. Do my social security number, my driver license, my credit score, my tax record, etc. really define who I am as a person? Do these things attribute any meaning to who I am? No! What makes me, me? Who am I for real and what has shaped my life, my thoughts, and my actions? So, I started to ponder...I am a woman, a wife, a mom, a daughter, a niece, a cousin, a friend, a godmother, a former church staffer, a former athlete, a church volunteer and youth volunteer, a teacher, a reader, a traveler, a cook, a crier, a laugher who likes to make other people laugh, a music lover but not a big concert goer, an Aggie, a people-pleaser, a worry wart, a corny punner like my folks, a planner who loves to be spontaneous, one who has experienced many deaths of people I love, a peacemaker, the girl who loves to have get-togethers, too sensitive and serious sometimes, loved and loving, grateful, discerning, encouraging, extremely family-oriented, educated, outdoorsy, sporty, anxiety-ridden if I'm not careful, super stubborn I'm sad to say, artistic, creative, right-brained, not a fan of public speaking, completely mountain obsessed, beach girl, swimming pool loving, competitive, technologically and math challenged, one who has a serious phobia of snakes (and I mean serious), too hard on myself and sometimes others, detail-oriented, compassionate, always taking pictures, really into making photo books, introverted but at the same time loves spending time with friends and family, a board game player, a home body at times, that person who checks her smartphone too much, a CNN online news fanatic, and a girl who loves her t.v. shows and movies, especially with her hubby after a long day. But, above all else, the thing that defines me the most is that I a child of the living God!
For a month now, I've been trying to hold on to my paper identity, to protect it so that it does not become compromised any more than it already has been. As I was trying to do this, I thought, "Isn't this what I sometimes do to my real identity as well?" I try so hard to hang on to it, to not change, to not let it slip from my fingers, but this is not what we're called to do as children of God. Aren't we supposed to surrender more and more of ourselves each moment so that we become more and more like God? Our fallen image is what Christ is restoring. Moment by moment, if we just let go a bit, Christ is restoring us, making us more holy, more filled with love, and more like him. But, I must admit, at times, I try to keep that from happening. I want to be more me than Jesus, and that's not good! What would happen if I spent as much time and effort into letting myself become reconciled to God through Christ as I did trying to protect and rectify my identity being stolen in the last month? Well, I'd be a lot more holy that I am now, that's for dang sure! A few weeks ago, one of the associate pastors at my church, Bryan, preached a sermon about how we as Christians should be viewed by others--what our legacy should be when it's all said and done. What he said stuck with me. He spoke about how when his life is over, he does not want people to remember him. Rather, he wants people to remember seeing Christ in and through him. That's what matters. So, that's what I've been thinking about in the grander scheme of things while dealing with this whole identity theft mess--letting myself disappear more and more and letting Christ fill my heart and mind more and more!